When God asks you to "give it up"...
The other day I told my 3 year old she couldn't eat a lollipop that they handed out at dance. Because of her Lyme disease we don't do sugar as it causes inflammation and therefore severe joint pain in her back and legs, among many other things (she's also severely allergic to dye which it was full of). She, of course is 3, and doesn't totally understand that, and so therefore didn't care. She wanted the lollipop. But I told her to put it back in the treat bucket in the studio. I told her I would get her something else to replace it (it was a reward for her hard work that day, and a dance that she mastered).
She went over to the treat bucket, stood there, and instead of putting it back, she put it in her pocket. She came back over to me, ready to go home. I didn't say anything. (We weren't going there in public.) We got home and I began fixing their lunch. She started to wander into the other room. I asked where she was going. She said she'd "be right back." Of course I followed her. I watched as she went and sat on the stairs. She pulled out the lollipop, and started to open it.
I came out from around the corner and she saw me. Her face fell. Her heart sank. She knew she was caught, that she was wrong... and more disheartening, that she wasn't going to get to eat that lollipop. I sat on the stairs with her and she cried. I reminded her of those times when "her legs don't work" (her words for leg pain). She still totally doesn't understand the implications but we also talked about a replacement treat... a small shopkins toy she has been wanting. Something she can use for waaaay longer than a lollipop. We worked through it and all was right between us again.
I am bringing up this story because sometimes we as adults do the same exact thing my daughter did. We try to sneak things that are against our Heavenly Father's laws. We try to live secretly as though He does not know, or He cannot see. We forget that He is all-knowing, that He never takes His eyes off us, not even for a second. We forget that His laws have a purpose, and that it is always for our good, even though we can't understand it all entirely.
We fail to realize that sin, while seemingly enticing and pleasurable causes damage to our souls (far more damage than that lollipop would have had on my daughter's body). We forget that the pleasures of sin and the world are fleeting and momentary, but the Heavenly rewards that God wants to give us as a replacement for those are long-lasting and eternal.
Some of you have a sin or an idol in your pocket. You're standing in front of the bucket. You're Heavenly Father has asked you to give it up. You don't want to though. You're debating it , rationalizing in your heart. Like Eve, in the garden of Eden, you see that it is "pleasing to the eye." You want to keep it. Not just keep it, you want to savor it.
But your Father is watching. He sees all. He knows all. Sit with Him privately today on the stairway to Heaven. Give it to Him, regardless of whether or not you fully understand His ways. Just Surrender it. Easter is coming. And I promise, He has something far greater in store as a replacement. You'll see.
Peace, friends. ❤